Police believe involvement of terrorist organisations, Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) or AL Ummah behind Bomb blast in Bengaluru and are intensifying investigations to catch culprits. On December 28, a bomb exploded in Bengaluru, and killed a woman, injuring three people. The woman killed was Bhavani, 38, a homemaker from Chennai who had come to Bengaluru on a holiday.
The Church Street, parallel to MG Road in the Central Business District (CBD) area in Bengaluru, was gearing up for embracing New Year, as usual. Having mainly posh restaurants, food joints, bars and pubs, Church Street attracts thousands of people during weekends. An entire business and recreational activities came to a sudden halt when a bomb blast took place on Sunday night near the entrance of 'coconut grove' hotel.Police have collected CCTV footage from private establishments near the spot on church street where blast occurred but owing to poor image quality, much progress could not be done.
Bengaluru police are exploring the possibility of five members of the banned SIMI, who escaped from a Madhya Pradesh prison in October 2013, Shaikh Mehboob (25), Amjad (25), Mohammed Aslam (26), Mohammed Aijajuddin (30) and Zakir Hussain (32), in the Church street bomb blast case. The five stayed in rented houses in Karnataka’s Dharwad, Yadgir and Hospet using fake identities between December 2013 and September 2014, sources said. In a significant development on December 31, police arrested a person Mehboob in Yadagiri town near Shahapura bus stand in North karnataka, some 490 km from Bengaluru.
According to reliable sources, Mehboob, a sympathiser of SIMI, was believed to have made several calls to people associated with terrorist organisations and settled down in Yadagiri town for the last two months in the disguise of 'travelling salesman' selling clothes. Police may get vital clue from him regarding the Bengaluru bomb blast.
The calls made by Mehboob are from the phone with a Karnataka Reliance number, which was obtained by misusing ID of a Dharwad house owner Shivaji Rao Kulkarni.
It can be recalled that Bengaluru police arrested Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the man accused of behind the pro-ISIS twitter [email protected] on December 13 and received few threat calls from terrorist organisations. However, Bengaluru police are neither linking the Bengaluru bomb blast to those threat calls nor denying that angle. Police sources said, terrorists wanted to create panic in Bengaluru and due to high alert, they failed to succeed in making a large scale destruction to public lives and property by planting bombs at several places.
The day after bomb blast, there were disturbing messages in social media especially in WhatsApp doing rounds that bombs were exploded in six to seven thickly populated areas in Bengaluru. But that did not create any chaos as police and media clarified that no such incidents have taken place and people should not lend their ears to rumours.
Law to install CCTV cameras
In the backdrop of panic created in Bengluru over yesterday’s bomb blast, Karnataka Government is seriously trying to enact a law which recommends stringent measures including installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras in public places. Addressing a press meet after a high level meeting with Home department on December 29, Chief Minister Siddiaramaiah said Government is keen on bringing the Public Safety Enforcement Act to curb terrorist violence.
“We are planning to enact a law that makes it mandatory for all ‘establishments’ like Malls, Hotels, Business outlets and other public places where a gathering of 100 or more people is expected at a time, to provide safety features including installing CCTV surveillance cameras,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said. He mentioned that Andhra Pradesh has already introduced the law and Karnataka Government will follow it.
Siddarmaiah appreciated the ‘concern’ shown by central government over the bomb blast issue. “Home minister Rajnath Singh called me to assure all the necessary help from central government to combat terrorism,” Siddaramaih said. —Guruprasad from Bengaluru